Energy Guide: Efficient Energy Light Bulbs

Written by: Anisah Rodgers

If you’re interested in switching your light bulbs, this is the perfect article to read! This article will discuss the energy efficiency of each light bulb along with its capabilities, for example, motion sensors, dimmers, etc.

This is an incandescent light bulb. It’s the most commonly used light bulb because it’s the more accessible and cost effective, only costing $1. The average lifespan is 1,200 hours and the average usage is 60 Watts. Energy is created by having capsules that holds gas around a filament in order to increase the bulb efficiency. These bulbs emit about 90% of its energy as heat, which means energy is being wasted as well as your money.

This is a CFL light bulb or a Compact Fluorescent Lamp. It’s not as common when compared to incandescent light bulbs but it is more energy efficient. The average cost is $2 and the average lifespan is 8,000 hours with a usage of 14 Watts. CFLs come in different shades that vary between a warm, soft, or bright white or yellow. CFLs also come with a dimmable feature, but those bulbs are more difficult to find. In addition, these light bulbs release about 80% of its energy as heat which isn’t as bad when compared to incandescent lights.

CFLs also contain a little bit of Mercury which means that when disposing of these bulbs, you cannot throw them in the trash or recycle them. Mercury is considered a hazardous material and CFLs must be disposed like other hazardous materials at special drop off locations. There are local stores such as Ace Hardware that will collect them from you and dispose of them properly. There is also a hazardous waste drop-off in Martinez that will gladly take those burnt out light bulbs for you, here’s the link to their website: One last way of disposing of these light bulbs are to separate them from your trash by putting them in a plastic bag and placing it on top of your garbage can, Republic Services will take care of them from there.

LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes are the most energy efficient light bulbs out there. They are on the expensive side, costing on average $4 a bulb, but buying them is worth it. The average lifespan for LEDs is 25,000 hours and the usage is 10 Watts or less. LEDs can also be found in a variety of colors and most LEDs are dimmable and some come with daylight and motion sensors. These lights are good for outside porches, night lights, or even desk lamps. LEDs only release a small amount of heat.

It’s quite clear who the true victor of energy efficiency is. Over 23 years, it is estimated that incandescent light bulbs will cost you a total amount of $201, CFLs will cost you $48, and LEDs will only cost you $38. This means if you switch to LEDs you could save $3,260 (when replacing 20 incandescent light bulbs over their 23 year lifespan). If you don’t want to replace all your light bulbs with LEDs, you could always replace the lights you use most often with LEDs. More importantly, if you sign up for a free consultation with Walnut Creek Saves, a few of your light bulbs could be replaced with LEDs for free.


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